The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is talking about the “post-cookie” web world and proposes a digital token technology instead of cookies. IAB is the trade group that represents the online ad industry and media companies and proposes the creation of a digital token that could become a unique centralized identifier to follow the users around the web in order to track the browsing habits and privacy preferences.
Jordan Mitchell, Senior Vice President at IAB Tech Lab, mentioned in a blog post that the cookie was a “boon to the internet”. “The HTTP cookie was invented and added as part of the core HTTP protocol (…) which helped distinguish one browser device from another. It also allowed for web sites to capture basic analytics; they could count distinct users, pageviews, popular content, and other metrics”. This means that helped the publishers understand who was visiting the websites and allowed advertisers target their ads.
Right now, it seems like everyone in the tech world is either trying to come up with an alternative to cookies – the HTTP text files that gather information about you as you browse the web – or trying to do away with them entirely.
But nowadays all the publishers and advertisers use their own proprietary cookies. So, thousands of companies track the users’ behaviour every time they visit a webpage. Moreover, there is no privacy-safe bridge between the websites and the advertisers regarding users’ personal data. This is why IAB Tech Lab proposes to develop a centralized token mechanism and use it as a standard if the Web Advertising Business Group will approve it. Thus, it could become the new web standard for all the companies in the digital ecosystem. Any abuse would be avoided, a data protection verification mechanism would exist and an oversight board of IAB Tech Lab would be created.
Such a solution sounds creepy as the companies might obtain a complete profile of every user. So, such a solution sounds creepy enough for the users as online tracking could become much easier.
It seems that the discussion can go on only after Google, the most important player in the online advertising world decides to end the era of Internet cookies. Anyway, as one of the Ad Guardian Plus user, you protect your privacy as we block the behind your-back tracking by advertisers, social media websites and online search providers.